Monthly Archives: June 2009

What If #71 (1995) – The Review

What If? #71

What If? #71

I loved the idea of this book – but it wasn’t the story I was expecting.  First off – the bomb that created the thousand Hulks was not the famous “Test” Gamma Bomb that Bruce created – instead it was the bomb that America dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.  The Hulks were both freaks and super strong mutants that no hero could fight against.  The Hulks quickly took over the world, calling themselves the Oni – and the emperer of the Oni is a mutated one who goes simply by “The Leader”.

A bunch of different Hulks... creepy looking Hulks

A bunch of different Hulks... creepy looking Hulks

The Leader

The Leader

The Leader imprisoned the FF and destroyed the X-Men and any other super hero.  Bruce Banner was a man who realized that the Oni was dying – but that they could be rescued – saved by a dose of Gamma Radiation.  As he was working on the solution, Betty Ross, recognized by her name, was killed because Thunderbolt was the Oni’s enemy.  When she was killed Bruce decided to destry the Oni himself with one last Gamma Bomb.  The bomb was designed to kill the freaks – but at the test site Nick Fury showed up.

Banner - his fate seems to be sealed

Banner - his fate seems to be sealed

Nick Fury, who had been trying to stop the Oni, was meddling with the bomb.  Banner runs out to the site and throws Fury into the blast bunker to save his life – but he was too late to save himself.  He is caught in the blast and becomes the Hulk himself.  But now there is a soilder strong enough to take on the Oni – and Bruce leads the fight against the Oni with the heroes he breaks free.  He is a tortured soul – he is getting revenge on the people that took his beloved Betty away – but he is forced to fight in the skin that his enemies wear.

Heroes fighting together!

Heroes fighting together!

Over all, not a bad issue – but the art is pretty atrocious and the story is quick.  Grade: C

Red Hulk & Skaar MiniMates (2009)

Red Hulk / Skaar MiniMates

Red Hulk / Skaar MiniMates

These are just on the shelves now – I guess it’s good to put the new kids on the block in a pack – I’m not really sure why I picked these up… I kind of felt like I had to buy them.  I’m not really sure if I’m even going to display them.  I’ll hide them behind other, better two packs.  But hey, the Red Hulk really does look like he does in the comics.

Ugh... Loeb, look at this... are you happy now?

Ugh... Loeb, look at this... are you happy now?

Wizard #214 is Hulk-tastic!

Savage Showmen Top Ten by Wizard

Savage Showmen Top Ten by Wizard

Listen, it’s been a while since I actually bought a Wizard, the magazine just doesn’t do it for me anymore – but a friend told me to check it out for a few Hulk treats inside.  There’s a top ten list entitled Savage Showmen where they count down the Hulk’s most successful creators.  Here’s what we got:

10) Bill Mantlo – Okay, sure.  He wrote some of the most classic Hulk tales – he deserves his due.

9) Ed Mcguinness – let’s be honest here, he’s the only reason people are buying the book right now.  Maybe he deserves this spot, but I’m still inclined to say not.

8 ) Bruce Jones – Wait, Seriously?!?  Bruce freakin’ Jones?  Someone needs a reality check!  The guy was one of the worst Hulk scribes of Hulk history!  No way does he deserve a spot!

7) Todd McFarlane – I know not everyone is a fan. but I am, he’s the guy who was drawing the book when I first started reading it, so I have a soft spot for this guy.

6) Dale Keown – Hands down, one of the most revered Hulk artist out there.

5) Gary Frank – Not a fan of this artist rendition of the Hulk.  I know there are people who love this guy – but I can’t say I’m one of them.

4) Herb Trimpe – By far my favorite, so yeah, I think he should be higher on this list!

3) Greg Pak – For writing one of the most memorable Hulk stories in years, he’s earned his spot.  But #3?  Really?

2) Sal Buscema – Can’t argue this one either, if it’s not Keown that Hulk fans want – it’s Buscema!

1) Peter David – The man, the legend, and here he is at #1.

Ummm… where is Kirby and Lee? 

Shop Talk - everyone hates the Red Hulk...

Shop Talk - everyone hates the Red Hulk...

Also, toward the back near the price guide, you will see a small side bar with Retailer Buzz noting that Hulk is not selling all that well anymore.  The people asked reason that it’s because no one cares about who the Red Hulk is anymore (I agree) – that it’s taken way too long to get the identity (I also agree) and that the inconsistent schedule is killing the book (Yup, yup)

Skaar: Son of Hulk #12 (2009) – The Review

Skaar: Son of Hulk #12

Skaar: Son of Hulk #12

I know this post is really late going up – but I left my computer at work last night and didn’t get it again until this morning – but here it is!

Let’s take a break from the MCP reviews with something a little more current!  I forgot to review #11 – although I will admit, it’s in my “To Read” pile and I haven’t even touched it.  I’ve had a lot to do.  With only a month or so left till my daughter arrives it seems like my to do list just gets bigger and bigger.  Anyways, this issue starts with the Hulk calling Skaar out – and Skaar coming back with “I thought you’d be bigger” (what a great line).  This is how it’s supposed to be – at the age of thirteen, every Forgeday, a son must test his father and the father must tame the son.  Hulk and Skaar trade blows while the warbound looks on and notices that this fight is taking place a little too close to a nuclear power plant.  Skaar asks the Hulk if that’s the hardest he can hit – and Hulk shows him that it wasn’t.  Korg steps in to try to calm things down but Hulk only uses him as a weapon to hit Skaar with.  Then, Korg tells each of them that if they are going to fight that they must at least tell each other what their grievances with each other is.  Skaar asks what kind of “hero” leaves his son to burn, his world to die?  Hulk answers with… stupid Hulk talk.

Hulk is in his Savage persona, he doesn’t even recognize Korg or Skaar – this may be Pak’s attempt to fix Loeb’s disgusting past two years of writing – but when he looks into Skaar’s eyes he sees Caiera and he remembers.  Skaar asks him if he knows he is Green Scar – and Hulk responds with, “Nope!  I’m the World Breaker, Bitch!”  Alright, I added the bitch part…

Remembering makes the Hulk transform into Bruce Banner – and back into the Savage Hulk again – like he’s trying to forget or something.  Skaar asks him to show himself – to show the World Breaker again.  Skaar send a crack along the canyon floor, right toward the power plant.  The Warbound go into action to try to stop a meltdown from occurring.  Skaar asks Hulk to see Green Scar again – and Hulk refuses to go and help stop the meltdown.  Hulk hold the containment building together – but as one of the towers crumble the Hulk turns his attention to it – the containment building begins to blow.  Everyone believes this will be it – until Skaar uses the Old Power to stop the meltdown.  Elloe Kaifi asks why he fights with a sword if he has all that power – Skaar answers by plunging said sword into the Hulk’s chest saying it’s more fun.  (By the way – if this ever comes up to buy – I so want it!)

Skaar walks away calling the Hulk a moron and saying that he’ll be back when there is someone in there worth killing and tells them to stay ways until then – because this is his planet now.  The last scene of this story shows the devastation that the fight had on the area, molten lava flowing between huge cracks in the Earth’s crust.  Just plain awesome – it really sets Skaar up as a bad ass not to be reckoned with.  Just a fantastic build up!  Grade: A (PAK IS BACK BABY!)

There is a variant cover showcasing the Hulk – as well as a wraparound variant cover and an even scarcer sketch variant cover – but since it’s early and I have no camera you’ll just seek these out to see for your self.

There is a second story – a worthy read as well – of the Surfer warning a world about the coming of Galactus.  Because their world is strong with the old power Galactus will come.  The Surfer tells them about Caiera’s sacrifice so that others may live – and he also tells of Skaar’s defiance.  How after Galactus had fed and would have slept for thousands of years – but Skaar, with one last attack, wakes the eater of worlds and he hungers once again for more.  The Surfer tried to stop him – only to be batted away in a blink of an eye.  He warns for the inhabitants of the planet to leave before Galactus gets there – to remember who to honor (Caiera) and who to curse (Skaar, now on Earth).  We join Skaar on Earth, in Iowa, where a much younger version of himself is sitting at a lake, staring at a much older reflection, and damning him.  Man, this comic has me jazzed about Hulk comics again!

Marvel Comics Presents #78 (1991) – The Review

Marvel Comics Presents #78

Marvel Comics Presents #78

Green Hulk on the back cover - Grey Hulk inside!

Green Hulk on the back cover - Grey Hulk inside!

Here’s one of the more… unusual stories.  The Hulk is hanging out in a bar – Selene, the Black Queen, walk in and tries to cozy on up to the Hulk.  Hulk tells her that he’s “Not Interested” (Which is also the title of this sordid little tale).  Selene tries to get the Hulk’s attention, first by flashing her “goods” and telling him that she’s a God – then she sucks face with a guy and sucks the life right out of him and even hits the Hulk with a psychic blast.  Each time the Hulk responds with a “Not interested”.  Finally, though, after she has sufficiently aggravated him and now tries to get him to leave the Hulk tells her there is a reason he’s not interested…

Hulk... drinking his problems away

Hulk... drinking his problems away

Selene - being sutble...

Selene - being subtle...

Back at the Hellfire Club, Magneto calls to Selene who informs him that she has learned a lesson in arrogance tonight.  Magneto calls out her name and she responds with “Not interested.”

Hulk being... not so subtle!

Hulk being... not so subtle!

One of the more interesting stories – but hey – still showed off a little of the Hulks ability to scare off powerful mutants – Grade: B-

Marvel Comics Presents #38 (1989) – The Review

Marvel Comics Presents #38

Marvel Comics Presents #38

This story, entitled “Art for Art’s Sake”, has Fixit being sent to a musician’s house to strong arm him into playing at Mr. B’s girlfriend’s party.  See, when Brian Newman was an up and comer Mr. B helped him get on his feet and become a best selling artist.  So, Hulk heads out to Brian Newman’s place and when confronted Newman tells Fixit to go ahead and break his hands.  He would rather that then play the terrible songs he was forced to sing to become a best-seller.  He tells Fixit that Mr. B did help him – but on his terms only – forced him to sing pop songs he hated.  Newman tells the Hulk about the latest project – the music that comes from his soul – he even plays it for Fixit.

Do you take requests?  Can you play Superfreak?

Do you take requests? Can you play Superfreak?

After this Fixit call up Mr. B and tells him that Newman won’t be playing the party.  To hire Wayne Newton instead.  The story is fine – I’m not sure if this guy could convince the Hulk to defy Mr. B – but it’s like the old adage “Music soothes the savage beast” – so whatever.  Grade: C

Is this Domino Pizza?

Is this Domino Pizza?

Marvel Comics Presents #45 (1990) – The Review

Marvel Comics Presents #45

Marvel Comics Presents #45

So, in the hey day of Mr. Fixit, it seems there were plenty of writers wanting to take a crack at this great persona of the Hulk.  While the stories weren’t very long they were absolutely entertaining – and this one is my favorite.  Why?  It’s entitled “The Main Event” and it matches up the Incredible Hulk vs. The Hulk… the freakin’ wrestler!  While this isn’t the most accurate in history or character sense – how can you not be entertained by it?  I’ll explain…

Back cover - almost looks like Larson - but it's not...

Back cover - almost looks like Larsen - but it's not...

This issue wraps up in a few short pages and literally has the wrestler Hulk shooting his mouth off about how he is the best and strongest out there.  That’s when the real Hulk has had enough and jumps into the ring to silence the buffoon.  As the real Hulk embarrasses the wrestler with every move a fan, watching from home, is remarking on how the wrestler Hulk is really getting pummeled.  Then the Hulk hits the… uhhh… Hulk out of the building, sending him across town and landing in the fan’s living room.  The story ends with the Hulk threatening to teach the other wrestlers using superhero aliases a lesson if they keep using the name to get ahead.  As the referee announces the Hulk as the winner the Hulk remarks that he can call him Mr. Fixit – and they can call me Incredible you-know-what.

Hulk vs Hulk - but Hulk isn't fairing well against the Hulk

Hulk vs Hulk - but Hulk isn't fairing well against the Hulk

The reason why it’s not very accurate is because Fixit didn’t want to be found out as the Hulk – he would never risk getting spotted and losing his cushy little job just to defend the “Hulk” name – which he wasn’t even very fond of.  But who freakin’ cares!  This story is classic just for the match up!  How can you not love this story?  Grade: A

Thor looks a bit prissy to be a wrestler...

Thor looks a bit prissy to be a wrestler...